James Woods received his second Oscar nomination for portraying Byron De La Beckwith in Ghosts of Mississippi.
James Woods plays the murderer of Medger Evers Byran De La Beckwith, and attempts to bring some energy into a film that sorely needs it. The only problem is though Woods is mostly reduced to reaction shots of being smugly confidant that he will not be convicted. The only other thing he seems to do is make racist statements with absolutely no shame at all.
Woods is an actor who always seems to try hard in his roles even when the films are very much lacking. I will give him his due credit he tries, he tries hard to make something compelling out of his material. The problem is though he mostly is at the mercy of his character. Woods is technically good at being De La Beckwith, he manages the southern accent, as well as his old age mannerisms with ease.
Woods shows that De La Beckwith has absolutely no doubt over his racist philosophy he believes or his complete lack of empathy for the man he killed. Woods is energetic with the part his scene late in the film where he espouses his confidant he won't be found guilty despite basically admitting his guilt is well acted. His performance overall is good, but it is never amazing always being held back by his part and his film.